And so it starts [The Gospel Passage]

Beloved Reader, we are now in what is called “Ordinary Time.” This is the first span of Ordinary Time. There will be another one after Lent.The Sundays between now and Lent are numbered as so many “Sundays after the Epiphany.” The Sundays in Ordinary Time do not have any names.

As we enter Ordinary Time we also start to journey with Jesus as he completes his earthy ministry. Jesus has already started to gather together the men who will become his disciples. Today’s passage tells of the calling of still more men.

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’ “ (John 1:43-51)

We are a called people, beloved reader. Some were called early in life and grew up in faith. Others were called later in life and come to belief from other ways of living. It does not matter what road we were on before we were called to faith. That life is a life left behind – or it should be a life left behind. But it calls to us, tempts us, persuades and entangles us. We look back to that life, sometimes step towards it, and times return to it.

This year in the lectionary cycle is when we think about where and how we have left Christian living and followed another darker path that leads to sin and wickedness. Some have not gone far down that path; some have done nothing more than see it and acknowledge but have not strayed from the path of Christ. And others have gone down the path, around the bend, and down still farther on the path, and have lost sight of what Christ’s path goes. It is those people who are in most desperate need of being called back.

I do not know which you might be beloved reader. And I do not need to know. But what you should know is that Christ calls to us as he called to the disciples in this passage, inviting us to be his disciples. He knows us intimately. And desires to show us great wonders.

In the next three days we will talk further about being called by Jesus Christ. And what that call means. Selah!